Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Follows Boris: I'll Reverse Labour's 50p Tax

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cameron Follows Boris: I'll Reverse Labour's 50p Tax

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH Deputy Political Editor

A TORY Government would reverse Labour's 50p tax rate on the rich, David Cameron signalled for the first time today.

The Conservative leader said that while his first priority was to scrap National Insurance hikes for those on modest incomes, he wanted to dump the super-tax too.

His remarks follow a call from Mayor of London Boris Johnson this week for his party to be more robust in opposing the Government's attack on the wealthy.

Deputy leader Harriet Harman said that a new Equalities Bill would seek to ban discrimination on grounds of wealth as well as race and gender.

It also emerged the Chancellor hid a further tax hike on the wealthy in the Budget small print,. It aims to raise [pounds sterling]2.9 billion by taxing pension payments made to those earning more than [pounds sterling]150,000 a year.

Mr Cameron has been careful to avoid falling into the trap of being seen to back the rich, but made clear that while his tax-cutting priority was the National Insurance hike for those on more than [pounds sterling]20,0000 a year, the 50p rate was also in his sights.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We don't approve of the high marginal tax rates. But it's got to form its place in the queue of taxes we want to get rid of. How do we get rid of them? By getting to grips with spending now." On the supertax, the Tory leader added: "It's a mistake. It's bad for Britain." He later told BBC Radio 5 Live that the 50p rise would boost Switzerland, where wealthy people could flee from London. Similar warnings were expressed by City leaders and economists today.

Downing Street was heartened by a Populus/Times poll showing that 57 per cent of the public support the new 50p tax rate for those earning more than [pounds sterling]150,000 a year..

It echoed focus groups taken by the Chancellor in recent weeks which showed voters believe the rich should be punished for the banking crisis. …

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